McKinsey joins corporate affiliate program at Stanford HAI to bring AI and frontier tech to clients

AI promises to reinvent industries, and many business leaders are eager to understand how it can create value within their own living, breathing organizations. To help them make this leap, we are embarking on a new collaboration with the Stanford Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence (HAI), an organization dedicated to guiding and building the future of artificial intelligence.

“Many of our clients have a deep appetite for learning and foresight into how to best cope with the AI disruption in their organizations,” says Ben Ellencweig, a McKinsey senior partner. “Joining Stanford HAI’s corporate affiliate program gives us an opportunity to open up Silicon Valley with its leading-edge thinking, concentration of talent, and ecosystem of partners to all of our clients.”

Together, we have created customized one-day learning programs for leaders that start with a live technology demo or a lab walkthrough with Stanford HAI academics and a review of the most relevant and recent research. This is followed by an afternoon workshop with McKinsey experts in which participants identify tangible next steps to apply the technology and create new opportunities in their business.

“The curriculum covers AI and machine learning; AI and sustainability; the metaverse; and the digital economy and future of work”, explains Ben. “It’s one of the ways that we are helping businesses use technology and upskill their workforces to seed their own sustainable and inclusive growth.” 

The collaboration with Stanford HAI has been a joint effort of QuantumBlack, AI by McKinsey and our Technology Council. The aim, according to McKinsey senior partner Lareina Yee, is to help participants not only understand the technology but also to experience it. “It’s a way we can help them lift their aspirations and imagine the future,” she says, “but we also ground that in practical considerations, like the investments required, how you participate in these new markets, the skills that will be needed, as well as understanding the inherent risks of the technology transition.”

The program can be tailored to match the participants’ tech knowledge, from those in the early phases of understanding the most significant technology trends identified by the McKinsey Technology Council, all the way to early AI-adopters looking to implement generative AI into their tools and products.

Stanford HAI brings together leading experts from a full array of disciplines—engineering, neuroscience, economics, psychology, medicine, entrepreneurship—to develop research and share findings, shape policy, and build partnerships, all with an eye to ensuring that AI technologies enhance the human experience.

“Companies around the world are racing to leverage artificial intelligence,” says Stanford HAI co-director and Sequoia Professor of Computer Science Fei-Fei Li. “We are grateful to corporate affiliates like McKinsey for collaborating in ways that help advance AI research and practice to improve the lives of people.”

Joining Stanford HAI’s corporate affiliate program gives us an opportunity to open up Silicon Valley with its leading-edge thinking, concentration of talent, and ecosystem of partners to all of our clients.

Ben Ellencweig, McKinsey senior partner

For Stanford HAI faculty, the program offers a close-up look at some of the toughest challenges industries are grappling with today. For example, life sciences companies are turning to AI solutions to improve the efficacy of developing personalized drug therapies. Manufacturers are building AI-based digital twins of facilities before construction to prevent costly mistakes before they happen. Cutting-edge retailers and consumer goods companies are experimenting with the metaverse to create an entirely new category of customer experiences.

“HAI has cultivated a community of the world’s foremost AI researchers who are eager to scale their work through real applications with businesses,” said
Panos Madamopoulos, HAI Managing Director for Industry Programs and Partnerships. In a time of such rapid technological change, this conversation between academia and industry is essential not only for translating research into practical solutions, but also for ensuring the effective, safe, and ethical application of AI.”


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